Monday, February 6, 2017

Montana & Yellowstone Part Three

Parts one and two!

The next day, we said goodbye to Gardiner and continued through the park.

We saw some really gorgeous turquoise hot pots that matched my leggings.

Tyler, no!

And we made a brief foray into Grand Teton National Park and took a little hike through marshy birch territory, where I both longed and dreaded to see a moose. (I saw no moose.)

The next day was all about GEYSERS. We went to see Old Faithful, because of course, but we also saw the Lone Star Geyser and the Steamboat Geyser. We were lucky and timed our hike to Lone Star (which erupts every three hours) perfectly -- just in time to see it go and go and go! We were also lucky with Steamboat, which erupts infrequently. The last time it had erupted was over a year before our visit! Although we missed the actual eruption, it was still steaming when we visited, and the hot pot that feeds it was empty.

Another hike, another opportunity to sing my "no bears necessary" song.

Just before we left the park around dusk, we found a herd of elk riverside, the males bugling and chasing the females. It was a magical note to end on.

The next day, we learned how to shoot automatic rifles!

And thus ended our trip to Montana.

Montana & Yellowstone Part Two

See part one here!

The next day, we found the 45th Parallel...

...wondered at petrified trees and took a little hike...

Mushrooms grow out of bison poop.

More poop! I was super excited to find this scat because it meant that a canine of some kind had been on our path recently, most likely coyote.

...saw our first buffalo of the trip (and I got too close in my excitement and was lucky not to get gored)...

I know better and I still act like an idiot around wild animals.
I got too close to SEVERAL bison.

We saw the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which was almost as awe-inspiring as the big version and offered a totally different and very cool vibe.

I did an interpretive dance at the beginning of Uncle Tom's Trail to the Lower Falls. Tyler accidentally used a very artistic mode on my camera.

The trek to the bottom of the falls was a lot less treacherous than the original trail, buuut it still featured extremely steep, slippery metal stairs with a surprising amount of space between steps and nearly nothing standing between us and a deathly pummeling against the rocks. In fact, unbeknownst to us, an eight-year-old girl had slipped and fallen off those very steps and died not a month before our visit. :(

We returned to my comfort zone -- geysers -- shortly after.

Then we joined other tourists in tormenting an elk in the forest.

We went on a short hike to a lakeside beach (and I clapped my hands and sang the whole time, I was so scared to run into a bear).

Yellowstone is so beautiful at dusk. And we finally saw a coyote!

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